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What Is a Gray (50+) Divorce on Long Island?

by | Jul 28, 2020 | divorce

Are you 50+ and considering getting a divorce? It’s not uncommon for older individuals in long-term marriages to decide that they want to end their relationship. Why is this, and how can you manage your gray divorce?

What Is a Gray Divorce?

A “gray divorce” is a colloquialism for a divorce between married seniors, usually who are over the age of 50 or 60. It’s a play on the term “gray,” which refers to the often graying hair of older couples.

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Why Do Seniors Choose to Get a Divorce?

There are many reasons senior couples make the decision to divorce later in life. Here are some of the most common:

  1. Age. Many seniors who are self-conscious about aging will choose to move on from their older partners and begin a relationship with someone younger to help them also feel younger.
  2. Growing apart. Older couples can grow apart over time and may realize that once the kids are grown and on their own and retirement begins, they no longer really know who their spouse is anymore.
  3. Different lifestyles. As you and your partner age, you may find that you each begin to enjoy different lifestyles. If one partner wants to lead an active life and the other prefers to stay at home and relax, this disparity can lead to the end of the relationship.
  4. Financial challenges. Financial problems are one of the most common reasons couples get divorced period, regardless of age. For seniors on fixed incomes, managing finances can be even more difficult.
  5. A desire to “start over.” Life expectancy on average is upwards of 80 years of age. A 65-year-old person may decide that they have a good 20 years left and don’t want to spend it in the marriage they’re currently in, especially if it’s been an unhappy one.
  6. Issues with sexual relations. It’s normal for the libido to change with age and health conditions, but this can cause a problem in a marriage where the sexual needs of each partner don’t add up.

Divorce Mediation for Long Island Gray Divorces

For many seniors, divorce mediation is the easiest, fastest, and most cost-effective way to dissolve their marriage. Mediation does not involve going to divorce court; instead, you and your spouse meet with an unbiased, neutral third party to discuss how you would like to handle the various matters related to your separation, such as property division and alimony.

Many divorcing seniors prefer divorce mediation because it allows more flexibility than a traditional divorce. Divorce mediation typically costs thousands less than litigation, even in cases where there are more assets and property to be sorted. This makes divorce mediation a top choice for seniors on a fixed income. Mediation is also faster, taking months or even years less than traditional divorce. Finally, mediation is simply just less contentious and stressful. Instead of spending time arguing, filing motions, writing letters, and subpoenaing documents, you can get your divorce over with faster and start this new chapter of your life sooner.

Keep These Critical Issues in Mind When Getting a Gray Divorce

Here are some important issues to keep in mind when pursuing a divorce later in life:

  • Separate vs. marital assets. How will you divide assets equitably between you and your ex-spouse?
  • Alimony or spousal support. Will one ex-spouse pay alimony or spousal support to the other for a period of time following the divorce?
  • Social security benefits. Are either you or your ex eligible for additional Social Security benefits based on the earnings of the other?
  • Inheritance and retirement funds. Is either of you eligible to receive a portion of the other’s retirement funds or an inheritance that was received?
  • Life insurance. Will you keep your ex as a beneficiary on your life insurance policy or remove them, or vice versa?

Hornberger Verbitsky, PC Is Dedicated to Helping Seniors Navigate the Complexities of Later-in-Life Divorce

If you are a senior and are exploring your Long Island divorce options, don’t hesitate to obtain the help of an experienced family law attorney. Hornberger Verbitsky P.C. is well-versed in the unique challenges of a gray divorce and can help you dissolve your long-term marriage as quickly and painlessly as possible so you can move forward with the rest of your life. Contact us now for a consultation at 631-923-1910.


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There is no cost or obligation for this initial consultation. It is simply an opportunity for us to get to know each other, answer your questions and learn if Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. is right the right law firm for you. Give us a call at 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form below for your free consultation and case evaluation.

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